MANILA, Philippines – There are still plenty of questions about how Terrence Romeo will fit into San Miguel, how he will mesh with his teammates, and his role in the team's tried-and-tested system.
But what cannot be questioned is Romeo's willingness to work, as San Miguel coach Leo Austria saw firsthand when the high-scoring guard formally joined their team practice last week.
Romeo, acquired from TNT in exchange for Brian Heruela and David Semerad, practiced with the Beermen for the first time last Thursday before joining them in their team-building ahead of the new PBA season.
"Makikita mo talagang very impressive (si Terrence), dahil makikita mo na he has a different work ethic," Austria said after Romeo's first practice with them.
"His passion in playing basketball is really high eh," he added. "Makikita mo na siguro nung ipinanganak siya may kasama nang bola eh."
This work ethic will serve Romeo well as he finds his place in the San Miguel system, Austria said. Moreover, the coach is unconcerned with the red flags surrounding Romeo, whose exit from GlobalPort and TNT – his two previous teams – was less than graceful.
Romeo had been traded from GlobalPort – now NorthPort – after a public spat with coach Pido Jarencio, then found himself out of TNT KaTropa after less than a year. His former TNT teammates reportedly asked for him to be shipped out of the franchise.
"What happened with his last two teams, it's already a thing of the past and we're not thinking about it," said Austria.
"What we're thinking about is his present situation, right here," he added.
Austria said all they expect from Romeo is for him to "work hard with the team, follow the system, and learn to have a good relationship with his teammates."
"We know that he's a strong player," the coach said. "But he cannot win by himself eh. Just like what I've said to June Mar (Fajardo) – laging sinasabi natin na without June Mar, hindi kami mananalo. But June Mar cannot stand by himself."
The same goes for Romeo, Austria noted.
"Kailangan niya ng teammates, which is a big role dahil those small things, 'yun ang nagpapalaki sa team," he explained.
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